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"Tethical, an sRPG Engine" Kickstarter is Live! (Ended now.)

Started by lirmont, September 06, 2013, 09:13:29 pm


The kickstarter is live! Here's the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/100316459/tethical-an-srpg-engine

Once again, thanks to everyone that helped get it this far.


The kickstarter got accepted! I plan to launch it Monday (09/09/2013) at 6:00AM (EDT)!

Thanks to everybody who helped provide feedback in the other thread and helped make this happen. Click the spoiler for a sneak peek.

* Thanks go out to CONMAN for his Dragon Man monster.


It's about time.  :)

I guess it's time now to spread the word on the web/game dev sites. Pixel sites as well.
Now everyone sit down, relax and have a good damned cup of tea.
Then go out into the forest and see the stars.

Then come back and realize it's pointless to be so worked up over what's meant to be our hobby.
That should be my motto here, holy s


How much do you need to raise and what are the funds going to be for?  Is this so that you can quit your job and work on this full time?  I don't mean that as an insult or a joke.  That's how notch got Minecraft started.
My dreams can come true!


Overall, it's $20,000 I'm trying to raise. Nearly half of that is going towards finishing the control panel application. The control panel application is what already has the map importer/editor, the game mechanic designer, the conversation editor, the targeting function designers, and a bunch of much smaller convenience stuff that makes it so you don't actually have to ever look at the imposing database that helps make it all happen. Another chunk is going into client states (like the unit viewing state that has all the equipping and class changing stuff). Other money is going towards a process that will bake your server-client game that you play over the internet into a standalone game than can be played offline. I have already quit my job since around 6 months ago, but I've spent 66% of the money I'd saved up from that working on this. Should this not work out, I will have to get a job and return to working on this only recreationally.

If you'd like to see the pie graph that breaks down where the money goes, I encourage you to click the button for the "Preview" spoiler in the OP. There's also a spreadsheet that breaks it down even more available here: Kickstarter Estimate XLS (ODS).

I know at times this project can seem underwhelming when viewed from up close. However, in addition to the client and server applications, the project has five important tools: (1) a what-you-see-is-what-you-get sprite animation tool, (2) an image-based font tool that supports any language Unicode does, (3) an intuitive drag-and-drop formula designer, (4) a robust database behind most features, and (5) a control panel application that puts interfaces in-between you, the database, and the client-server file systems. As far as programming goes, I'm the only one responsible for the sprite animation tool, the font tool, the control panel, the formula designer, and designing and documenting the database schema.

More generally, the money is going towards putting it all together into a finished product (which you can get for a modest $10 during the kickstarter). Thanks!


September 09, 2013, 08:16:33 pm #4 Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 08:22:14 pm by Choto
I think what you've done already is superior to what most people can only imagine. Having seen some of the code myself I think it's quite impressive and the type of work that inspires. I hope those who see the kickstarter are able to invest faith in you and your ability. Maybe more importantly... if this does go the way you hope, perhaps you'll pave the way for this genre to prosper (the way square should have over the past 20 years). Pledge is in and I got my fingers crossed for you man.

I also urge those who frequent this board out of interest to support Lirmont in this endeavor with a contribution of any amount!


Yup, ill pledge.  Wishing you luck with this man.  Really sounds like a phenomenal product.  Just curious, are you planning on hiring a team, or will be handling all the coding yourself?


The hour estimate of 1,600 is planned out to be done by me over the following year (ending October 2014), but I may outsource parts to catch up if I start falling behind. Thanks!


Not much I can do in the way of monetary support, but I'll pass your kickstarter link around to the folks I know off of FFH who might be interested. Good luck, lirmont.


Just saw it today. Gotta wait for my next paycheck.


What can change the nature of a man?


Thanks. I really appreciate everybody spreading the word.


Wow! Looks like I always check back in at the right times.

I have some questions.

What operating systems will be able to use this? Mainly wondering about windows 8, Mac, and Linux compatibility.

Are there going to be updates to the finished programs such as new graphics of maps, characters, items, etc or will we just have to import our own?

With a donation, can we get a beta version to test out?



If your OS can run Panda3d, you can run the actual engine (and therefore games made in it). If you can be more specific about what you want a demo of, I can throw something together for you, but know that there's going to be a lot of installation on your part (one of the things in the kickstarter's estimate is to fund time for tools that'll ease that process). As for the tools, the sprite animation tool and the font tool are both written in Windows forms on .NET 2.0 (.NET 2.0 is old and comes with everything since Windows XP SP3). The control panel relies on a different GUI than Windows forms so that you can run it natively on Linux; Windows' users just need to install a GTK+ runtime. Compared to the other software, the control panel is still pretty much in the alpha phase (since there's been a need to move the filesystem's layout around a bit; there are some things that need to be rewritten on the backend to remove some of the filesize, too).

As far as resources, everything I've made is available, but it's not production quality. There are a bunch of sprites some members of the community have contributed. There is a custom font that has been contributed (though you can easily make your own off of a free base font off the internet using the font tool). I have some music, but it's not themed to fit together too well.

Again, let me know what you want a demo of, and I can put something together (though it may be after I do the Journey of the Five event in Tethical, since I promised I'd do that months ago). Thanks.


I just seeing if there was a beta version so I can get familiar with how it works. I'd like to try to create one event, and compare it with the time it took me to create one just by using the modding tools available on this site.

I watched your video, but I'm the type of person that needs to actually play around with stuff to really learn it.

If there is not one available it's no big deal. I've taken coding classes so I know how much time and effort it takes to create a program, especially something on this scale.


Alright, give me some idea of what you want this event to do, and I can get something together for you with some things already in the right spots (for sprites, sprite formats, music, fonts, etc). Ideally, you'd actually use the server application to get your dialogue out to the client application, but I can set up a file you can use that just uses the client and the Panda3d SDK (which you'll need to install). For events, the rest is programming, but programming animations is a strength of Panda3d (and Tethical can take full advantage of that).


Just a regular battle event like the one in your video. A generic squire and knight is fine. Music and font's can be generic vanilla FFT.

Like is said, if you're short on time don't worry about it.

I want to see if I'm understanding right. When the project is completed, it will be a tool for anyone to create there own sRPG right?


Not just one game, infinitely many games (because, yay, database technology). Truthfully, the engine already can create an sRPG. The work I'm doing is to make it easier for people who have no idea how to program or do data entry, so that they can be allowed to avoid programming altogether until they reach eventing (and the data entry is handled in the control panel).

Like the name says, it's the engine. If you bought a replacement engine for your car, it wouldn't come with the rest of the car (a full game in this allegory). It is the thing that makes everything else have purpose, though. This particular engine takes game-state descriptions as fuel, and produces the desired state-oriented output: intro movie screens, title screens, option screens, login screens, lobby screens, world map screens, etc. If you change the fuel, the engine runs differently (you have a different game). Unlike a physical engine that would need to be manufactured, this one exists in software, and you just have to have a copy to use it. Right now, there's a lot of stuff you have to tweak on your own (without a tool), and that requires a lot of knowledge that you aren't expected to have when you use an automated tool (like the control panel, which puts interfaces in between you and what you're trying to edit). The point of the tools is to make sure you don't need to learn the ins and outs of the really complicated device you're working with just to use it, and that makes it so that you can spend more time working on the parts you want to work on. You are, after all, still responsible for everything that isn't the engine (the rest of the car; the rest of the game).


Cool deal. It's similar in theory to the unreal engine.

Am I correct in saying the control panel is basically to 'guts' to editing right now?

Everything is there to create a game as long as you know what your doing.

Is the control panel an install software?


I don't know anything about the Unreal engine, so I probably can't answer your question. The control panel is just an application that knows how to look up and parse all the files and data used by the games through the engine. You can see screenshots of it running in this thread: http://ffhacktics.com/smf/index.php?topic=8157.msg168630#msg168630

For example, the particular post I linked shows that it can read area functions and target functions out of the database, edit them, and use them (attach them to skills). That means that behind the scenes the database actually has places and mechanisms to store all of that stuff, stuff you didn't have to see to edit it properly. You can even give the target functions an arbitrary level, so you could hypothetically choose a more powerful version of the same function given different input (i.e. the character has a much higher intelligence; so, 0 - 20 intelligence might result in the default; 21 - 50 might result in something slightly more powerful; and, 51 - infinity might be the most powerful, but you could always add more).


My friend just got into creating games using the unreal engine. The setup looks similar to the control panel.

Thanks for answering my questions!

I know I had a lot, but I wanted to make sure exactly what I was donating too!  :mrgreen: